Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cameron Todd Willingham: "The Statesman" says there is enough newly obtained evidence of prosecutorial misconduct leading to his wrongful execution to warrant "a thorough - and open - state investigation."


The Innocence Project has announced that it has discovered new evidence  of  possible prosecutorial misconduct which, if proven true, will indicate that a prosecutor deliberately took steps to secure false testimony which led  inevitably  to the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, an innocent man. The call for a thorough investigation into this wrongful execution  comes from the Innocence Project,  a highly credible organization that does not make such allegations lightly. The Innocence Project is acting in concert with  surviving relatives who have been consistently sought  answers so that there will be no other Cameron Todd Willingham's - and with  Michael Morton,  who has  personally experienced   prosecutorial corruption in Texas on a scale  similar to that alleged in the Willingham case.  Now that the Innocence Project's  disturbing allegations have been made public, there is no way to put them back into the bottle. Unless they are investigated in an open, public way, they will fester and eat away at public confidence in  Texas's criminal justice system.  Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project,  is asking members of the public to write the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Rick Perry  and ask them to thoroughly investigate the wrongful execution  of Cameron Todd Willingham. I am adding my voice to this call, and hope that the readers of this Blog will respond as well.

Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

EDITORIAL: "Open, thorough investigation needed in Willingham case," published by The Statesman on September 30, 3103.

GIST: "The evidence thus far says faulty arson claims were used to convict the Corsicana man for setting fire to his house and killing his three young daughters. Prosecutorial misconduct also may have contributed to Willingham's conviction, according to evidence presented last week by the Innocence Project. The group asked Gov. Rick Perry last week to order a state investigation into whether Willingham was wrongfully executed in 2004 and should be posthumously pardoned. The Innocence Project previously supported fire research that led to a report by the Texas Forensic Science Commission that discredited the arson claims used to convict Willingham.........Willingham's prosecutors continued to maintain he was guilty. They pointed to witnesses who said they found Willingham inadequately upset during or after the fire. And faulty fire evidence aside, prosecutors said they had information from a jailhouse informant that Willingham had admitted setting the fire. A statement made by the informant, Johnny Webb, possibly points to prosecutorial misconduct, the Innocence Project said last week. Webb claimed Willingham had confessed his crime to him while the two men sat in jail, but the Innocence Project said it has evidence the prosecutor who tried Willingham elicited false testimony from Webb and later reclassified his crime from aggravated robbery to robbery to reduce his 15-year prison sentence. Webb claimed in 2000 that prosecutors had asked him to lie, the Innocence Project said. But Webb's statement was never given to Willingham's attorneys before he was executed in 2004. The two opposing sides in the Willingham case are each convinced they're right. Death penalty politics shape the debate. Those who believe in Willingham's innocence think he was wrongly executed. Those who maintain Willingham's guilt, such as Perry, say the state has never executed an innocent man. We are in no position to pass judgment on Willingham's guilt or innocence. But there is enough evidence to warrant a thorough - and open - state investigation. Otherwise, Willingham's case is doomed to haunt criminal justice in Texas."

The entire story can be found at:


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